WILTON — Patty Woods had to relive a nightmare when a masked man with a gun burst into her gift and furniture shop Wednesday morning.

“There was nobody else in the store, and he came in and pointed the gun at me and said, ‘give me the money and jewelry,'” she said.

The man took some cash and jewelry and drove off in a car, speeding away from the Patty’s Place shop that Woods owns and runs with her husband on U.S. Route 2, she said.

Woods, 54, she was unhurt but badly shaken by the 9:30 a.m. robbery, which brought back painful memories of another horrifying attack she suffered about five years ago, she said.

Woods had been attacked while working alone at the shop that summer. A man grabbed her by the throat and threatened her with a knife before letting her free, she said.

The man behind that attack turned himself in to police and is serving part of a 25-year prison sentence in connection with the crime, according to court records.

After the robbery Wednesday, Woods struggled to talk about the two attacks, calling them horrifying situations that have left her afraid to work alone.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do to try to feel safe again,” she said.

Woods told police the man was wearing a black ski mask and pointed a semi-automatic handgun at her during the robbery Wednesday at about 9:30 a.m.

The man fled in a dark blue car, which Woods described as being a dirt-covered compact model and last was last seen heading toward Dixfield on U.S. Route 2, Police Chief Heidi Wilcox said.

Law enforcement agencies across the region are searching for the car and the robber, who was described by Woods as a slender white male between 5 feet, 8 inches and 6 feet tall, Wilcox said.

Besides the ski mask, the man was wearing a black jacket and gloves and denim jeans during the robbery. Wilcox and Woods would not give the value of the jewelry or amount of cash taken in the robbery.

The shop, which is near the border between Franklin and Oxford counties, has quilts and other trinkets displayed in a small open entranceway just off the highway. The couple also sells furniture and other household items. Woods said her husband, Jerry, opened the store nearly 40 years ago and she joined him in 1999, after they married.

Wilcox and other investigators interviewed Woods this morning. The three town police departments from the immediate area and two county sheriff’s offices had patrols searching along U.S. Route 2 throughout the day searching for the car and robber, Wilcox said.

Wilcox asked that anyone with information about the robbery to call the Wilton Police Department at 645-3876.

The man behind the first attack on Woods in 2006, Jeffrey Quirrion, of Jay, pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and criminal threatening. Quirrion was 24 years old at the time of the attack. He was sentenced in 2008 to 25 years in prison with all but seven years suspended, along with other probation conditions in connection with the sentence, court records state.

David Robinson — 861-9287

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